Greening your home can be tough, especially if it was built years, decades or even centuries ago. Older homes weren’t built with environmental sustainability in mind even if they will stand the test of time. Greening a home that wasn’t built green can be challenging but it’s an achievable goal that doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Here are 5 fabulous ways you can do to green your home right away.
1. Energy – The biggest impact a house has on the environment is usually its energy consumption. Most folks like to be able to see and stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer in their homes. That’s certainly understandable but how can those seemingly routine decisions about energy, heating and cooling impact the environment? There are many energy choices to make when heating, cooling and powering your home. The first best practice is conservation. That will help the planet and your wallet.
2. Cleaning/Painting/Repairing – Many people spend most of their weekends fixing up their homes. Improvements, additions, painting and repairing are all on the typical homeowners’ to-do list. But, how can these things help your home go green? Whether it’s materials or finishes, green choices abound. In order to cut through the confusion, look for products made as close to home as possible and consider non-toxic options. They will, generally speaking, cost you a little bit more, but it’s an investment with a great return.
3. Rainwater/Irrigation/Landscaping – Lots of rain falls on properties in the northeastern United States. But, instead of that rainwater being a drainage challenge to homeowners, what if you could turn all that rain into a resource you use that saves you money? Using rainwater for landscaping and irrigation is a smart move that will lessen your bills and your water consumption. Also, how water moves around and off your property will have a big impact on drainage issues and erosion.
4. Buying/Recycling/Composting – Many of us have been recycling for years. Those efforts have made a big difference in the waste-stream and have led to unprecedented levels of recycling. But, we should be mindful of recyciling twin sisters, reducing and reusing. Before we even have to recycle something, perhaps we should consider if it’s something we need to purchase at all. Assuming that is, is it possible to purchase a green version that has been manufactured from recycled materials. If not, is the material sustainable using renewable materials and non-toxic finishes and stains?
5. Water – Using water wisely means focusing on what comes out of your fixtures and what comes out of the sky. Conserving water is a smart move that will save money and have a positive impact on the environment. Reusing rain water is taking an extra step that will save money, protect precious natural resources and ensure your gardens and flower beds have plenty of life-giving water. Rain barrels and various ways to capture, collect and re-use rainwater are widely available at home improvement stores and on the Web.
Greening our homes is an ongoing process that involves not just how the house is powered, but what we bring into the house, how we dispose of it and how we manage the environmental resources around the house. All those factors will play a role in the greening of your home. For more tips, or if you have questions about any of the ideas mentioned above, then don’t hesitate to contact GreenWorks. We’d be happy to answer your questions, and don’t worry, we’ve heard them all before!